Archive for February, 2007

Sated

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I’ve been hungry for quite some time now. I still am for some things. There are so many things that I want to have. So many more that I want to do. So much that I want to be.

I crave things. I have come to an understanding about cravings. Cravings need to be satisfied. We crave foods because our body needs something. Often we substitute what we think we want for what we need. Cravings are not always clear. They don’t always tell the truth. But you can always know one thing that is honest about your cravings: they tell you that you’re hungry.

Sometimes my wife treats me better than I treat myself. Today she aimed to satisfy a craving. I have been craving steak. We eat an awful lot of yard bird at our house. Lately it had left me unsatisfied. So she brought home a couple of strip steaks.

Those steaks were pretty, thick and well marbled. At first glance I thought they might be too fresh. When I unwrapped them, I saw that they were in fact aged enough. She started cooking some potatoes, bread, corn and some chicken for the kids. I started rubbing the steaks. I did not use anything fancy. Just fresh ground pepper, some rough salt and some Worcestershire sauce. I cooked them a little too long but they were so well marbled that they were still fantastic.

So I had the steak and the accoutrements. I washed them down with half a liter of Franziskaner. I had a little ice-cream and cake. That was authentic comfort food.

I’m glad she did this for me. I needed this special kind of joy. I have a tendency to muzzle the ox.

It is good to satisfy a craving. Sometimes I crave steak. Sometimes I crave venison. Sometimes I crave peace. Sometimes I crave God.

Satisfying a craving takes work. It also takes permission. We have to permit ourselves to do what it takes to satisfy a craving. That doesn’t always equate to selfishness. But we believe that lie way too often.

So for now, the cravings are abated. I am satisfied, sated, and full. This is a great feeling.

Volume

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

One thing about me that many of you don’t know is my volume.  I can shake the windows on the neighbor’s houses.  Even if those neighbors are half a mile away.

I once won a cattle call contest at a county fair.  I didn’t even know there was a contest until it started but they were short of entrants and let me in.  Most used the typical yee-haw.  I let out a banshee screech with a forceful yawp that shocked everyone there.  At the time I weighed 150 soaking wet.  Nobody understood where I kept all that noise.  One judge wanted to know where I hid the microphone.  The other said I started like a wicked witch and finished like a drill sergeant.

Sometimes at work, I let go of a little Tarzan noise just to break the monotony.   Many folks in the factory are convinced that I am using the bullhorn.

I’m not a bad singer.  I am a baritone.  We sing in four part accapella in my church so I have to choose between tenor and bass depending on the song.  I am not the best but I aint bad.  I get a lot of complements from the folks that wear hearing aids.

As I age, I seem to better control this volume.  I understand that it is more effective when used less often.  My children are more afraid of the whisper after the bark than the bark alone.  Still nothing gets attention like well placed volume.

Now that I am reconsidering my entire life, I have to wonder what God wants me to do.  He gave me that volume.  He must want me to use it.  I won’t enter ministry as a vocation.  I’m not well suited to folks telling me what I can and cannot say.  But still I feel the need to say things and be heard.  Demosthenes filled his mouth with pebbles and shouted at the sea to get what God gave me naturally.  So I would hate to squander this talent.  I have to put it to use.

I think this time of reinvention should be put to use.  I just wonder if this job change is my hot coal to kiss.  I am definitely going to act like it is.  I understand that our lives are purified by the fires of our troubles.  I don’t like that.  Fire is hot.  I don’t like the crucible, the anvil or the hammer.  But I guess going through my troubles will be the only thing that will make me useful.

I know now more than ever that all flesh is grass.  So now it is time to “Cry out.”  In my own way I must lift up my voice mightily from my own high mountain.  I still don’t know exactly what I am going to say.  But I do know that this time of trouble will help me say it with authority.

For so long I have preached optimism.  Now I find myself needing to listen to my own lessons.  At least I know they’re loud enough to hear.

Better than the Best in Show.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

As some of you know, I am a real dog lover. My favorite breed is the English Mastiff. I have owned a couple and one of them was pretty fantastic.

Well tonight I was watching the Westminster Dog Show. I picked the winner. The Springer was definitely the best of the 7 finalists. But I have to rant. The Springer was not the best in the whole show. The best dog did not take his group.

In the entire history of the Westminster Dog Show the English Mastiff has never ever taken the working group. I’m pretty convinced that will always be. I have followed this show since 1984. In most of that time the Mastiff really did not deserve to take the Working Group. This year that was not the case. The best dog in the show was the Mastiff and the Working Group judge passed him over without a suitable glance.

Ch Lazy D’s Family Tradition is the finest Mastiff specimen I have ever seen. I hope the owners and handlers know that. His treatment in this show was ridiculous. What a travesty.

If you were looking for a Valentine’s post, I’m not writing one this year. Just check out this old one.

Skinny, Fast and Strong

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I took a good long look in the mirror. I thought about how I look. You see, I’m supposed to look like Jason Statham. Instead, I look like Hank Hill. I’m flabby, slow and weak.

Both my life and my body are in the same shape.

When I look in the mirrors of the rest of my life, the picture is not all that different. The career change has me examining these things. My finances are flabby with debt. I am slow to adapt and too dependent on my job. My faith is weak from a lack of spiritual work.

Many of the folks who work with me are moving to pursue new opportunities. I am upside down on the house so I really need to find something here. I want to make a big change but I am just not in the financial position to do that right now.

I have been depressed. My faith hasn’t saved me from that. Mostly because I have neglected my relationship with God. I show up for worship like punching a clock. I haven’t done any spiritual calisthenics for a long long time. I know quite a few spiritually healthy people who would give an arm for a fraction of my biblical booksmarts. Yet right now that knowledge is hollow trivia. Me and God are farther apart and I’m the one that moved.

So now I have to change. I need to be skinny, fast and strong. I have some ideas about how to do this. I just wish I had started sooner.

I have long term goals set.

  • A strong working faith that will keep me from despair.
  • The ability to do 50 pull-ups at any time.
  • A 30 inch waist.
  • $10K ready to go in an emergency fund.
  • No Debt! No mortgage. No car payments. No business loans. No Debt!
  • Some marketable job qualifications.
  • A comfortable retirement fund.
  • A trust for Tiger to have when I’m gone.
  • A group of investments that I feel good about.
  • The ability to really help all of my children not repeat my mistakes.

Now I have to figure out how to get started. I don’t have much time to do it. So I better get going.

Giving it a shot or six.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Well I found a job that looks terribly interesting to me.  It is definitely something completely different.  To my amazement, this job is in the public sector.  Even more amazing it is with the school system.

The job description is a little strange.  Half of it describes one type of person. The other half describes a completely different type of person.  It is like the people hiring can’t decide what they want.  So I am going to try to sell myself to them as the man they need.

The resume I sent sounds more like a mission statement than a resume.  My cover letter was an essay on why I am the right man for the job.  I hope it was just aggressive enough to work.

The good thing is that the posting has been up since November.

The bad thing is they are likely to tell me that I am under qualified.  That would be a shame.  I am probably the only person they ever encounter who wants to do this job for the sole purpose of doing it right.

I submitted the resume and cover letter online like the web page instructed.  Now I am going to go see the Human Resources people in person.  I really would like this job.  I have absolutely nothing to lose here.

Well, it is time to blow the bugle and charge the hill. Lets just hope I have enough ammunition.